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I tried 4 creamy peanut butter brands, and Smart Balance was perfectly salty and sweet

I tried 4 creamy peanut butter brands, and Smart Balance was perfectly salty and sweet
  • I taste-tested four creamy peanut butter brands — Smart Balance, Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan Natural.
  • I thought the Smart Balance creamy peanut butter was perfectly balanced between salty and sweet.
  • Jif was a bit too bland, while Skippy was so sweet it almost tasted like frosting.

For years, I've consistently bought the same brand of peanut butter: Skippy creamy peanut butter. I've always thought it to be the creamiest, the sweetest, and the most spreadable brand out there.

I've found that many people have their go-to brands when it comes to this pantry staple, whether that be Jif, Peter Pan, or others. However, which one is truly the best?

I decided to put four popular brands of creamy peanut butter -Smart Balance, Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan Natural - to the test and ranked them based on flavor, texture, and price.

Here's how each brand of creamy peanut butter ranked, from worst to best, in my opinion.

I tried four brands of creamy peanut butter: Smart Balance, Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan Natural.

I tried four brands of creamy peanut butter: Smart Balance, Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan Natural.
Smart Balance, Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan Natural peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

Each jar was about the same size and easy to find in most grocery stores.

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Going into this taste test, I had high hopes for Jif.

Going into this taste test, I had high hopes for Jif.
Jif creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

The 15.5-ounce jar of peanut butter cost me $3.69 at my local grocery store in Brooklyn, New York.

Going into the taste test, my roommate had informed me that Jif was her favorite brand of peanut butter growing up. I had high hopes for this brand, but it simply didn't live up to expectations.

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Inserting my spoon into the jar, I thought the texture looked a little sticky.

Inserting my spoon into the jar, I thought the texture looked a little sticky.
Jif creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

I would turn out to be exactly right.

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The peanut butter immediately stuck to the roof of my mouth and didn't have a strong flavor.

The peanut butter immediately stuck to the roof of my mouth and didn't have a strong flavor.
Jif creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

It definitely didn't taste bad, but it just didn't have the levels of sweet and salty that I look for in peanut butter. Even my roommate agreed that, after trying it as an adult, it wasn't as good as she remembered it.

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Coming in third place for me was the Peter Pan Natural creamy peanut butter.

Coming in third place for me was the Peter Pan Natural creamy peanut butter.
Peter Pan Natural creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

The 16.3-ounce jar cost $3.99 at my local grocery store, which I thought was a decent price.

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Immediately, I was turned off by the peanut butter's texture.

Immediately, I was turned off by the peanut butter's texture.
Peter Pan Natural creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

It looked chalky and grainy, not creamy like the other brands.

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It looked like thick chocolate frosting, not creamy peanut butter. However, the taste was alright.

It looked like thick chocolate frosting, not creamy peanut butter. However, the taste was alright.
Peter Pan Natural creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

Though admittedly a little bland, the flavor of the peanut butter was perfectly acceptable. The texture, on the other hand, was just a little thick for my liking. I would have liked it to be a little more easily spreadable, and just a touch more flavorful.

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Next in my ranking was Skippy, my longtime favorite brand.

Next in my ranking was Skippy, my longtime favorite brand.
Skippy creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

A 16.3-ounce jar cost me $3.59, making it the cheapest brand I tried.

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Dipping my spoon into the jar, I was immediately transported back to my childhood.

Dipping my spoon into the jar, I was immediately transported back to my childhood.
Skippy creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

Nostalgia aside, I definitely enjoy this peanut butter despite having the slight criticism of it being too sweet.

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Skippy may be a little sweet, but it is without a doubt the creamiest brand I've ever tried.

Skippy may be a little sweet, but it is without a doubt the creamiest brand I've ever tried.
Skippy creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

If you're looking for a cheap and easy spread for toast or a peanut butter and jelly, Skippy might fit the bill. However, I do agree with those who've called Skippy a little too sweet and not balanced enough for an adult palette.

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My favorite creamy peanut butter came out of left field - it was the Smart Balance creamy peanut butter.

My favorite creamy peanut butter came out of left field - it was the Smart Balance creamy peanut butter.
Smart Balance creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

A 16-ounce jar of Smart Balance creamy peanut butter costs $4.99, making it significantly more expensive than the other brands.

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Diving in, it did look a tad oily towards the surface. However, I didn't end up minding it at all.

Diving in, it did look a tad oily towards the surface. However, I didn't end up minding it at all.
Smart Balance creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

This peanut butter had a delightfully creamy, spreadable texture.

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It was the perfect balance of salty and sweet.

It was the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
Smart Balance creamy peanut butter. Erin McDowell/Insider

It tasted roasted, and the saltiness of the peanut butter was perfectly balanced. This definitely tasted like an adult's peanut butter, not like frosting, which the Skippy peanut butter reminded me of.

I even liked the slight oiliness of the peanut butter. I thought it added a whole other flavor profile to each and every spoonful.

I've never even tried Smart Balance peanut butter before — and now I have a new favorite brand.

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